DC Chamber Government Affairs Update – July 2022

KEY LEGISLATION

B24-0256 “Non-Compete Conflict of Interest Clarification Amendment Act of 2021”.

Following more than two years of work by the DC Chamber of Commerce and a dedicated coalition of local businesses, the DC Council unanimously passed legislation this month to fix a controversial DC law that would have effectively banned the use of non-compete agreements in the District. Sustained business advocacy efforts by the Chamber and its partners culminated in Councilmember Brooke Pinto’s hard-fought amendment to extend an employer’s freedom to negotiate non-competes with a broad range of high-level employees. The legislation now advances to Mayor Bowser, who is expected to sign it. The bill strikes a fair balance by protecting both the intellectual property of District businesses and the ability of middle class employees to move freely from one employer to another in a competitive labor market.

A late amendment prohibiting local broadcasters from taking full advantage of the new reforms was passed despite our concerns about singling out this segment of the employer community. Nonetheless, the passage of this bill represents a major win for the business community as a whole. 

The DC Chamber wishes to acknowledge the sustained efforts of our working group partners, and the support of Councilmembers Brooke Pinto, Kenyan McDuffie, Vincent Gray, Christina Henderson, Anita Bonds, Trayon White, Sr., and Chairman Mendelson.

B24-0558 “Stop Discrimination by Algorithms Act of 2021”.

The “Stop Discrimination by Algorithms Act of 2021”, seeks to prohibit users of algorithmic decision-making in a discriminatory manner and would require corresponding notices to individuals whose personal information is used in certain algorithms to determine employment, housing, healthcare and financial lending. Introduced by the Attorney General, this proposed legislation has garnered broad interest from the DC business community. The Committee on Government Operations and Facilities, chaired by Councilmember Robert White, has scheduled a public hearing for September 22, 2022, at noon. The GA Committee will continue to actively monitor this bill.

ELECTION UPDATES

The Democratic Primary was held on June 21, 2022. Here were the results:

  • Mayor- Muriel Bowser
  • Attorney General- Brian Schwalb
  • Chairman- Phil Mendelson
  • At-Large Councilmember- Anita Bonds
  • Ward 1- Breanne Nadeau
  • Ward 3- Matthew Frumin
  • Ward 5- Zachary Parker 
  • Ward 6- Charles Allen

The November 8, 2022 General Election will see a re-election bid for current At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman. However, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, an established champion of DC local businesses, has now entered the At-Large race as an independent leaving three established candidates for two At-Large seats. One of those candidates, Anita Bonds (Democrat), is expected to win one seat in a heavily Democratic city. The other At-Large seat is expected to be “up for grabs” between Silverman and McDuffie.

Other Key Dates to Track

  • Wednesday, August 10, 2022 (at 5:00 p.m.) is the last day to file nominating petitions, petition supplements, Declarations of Candidacy. The Chamber is watching this date closely to see if AG Karl Racine challenges Mayor Bowser as an independent.
  • Saturday, August 13, 2022, the nominating petitions are posted for 10-day challenge period.
  • Monday, August 15, 2022, is the last day for Board of Elections’ Executive Director to provide preliminary determination of candidates’ eligibility.

COUNCIL RECESS

Council will take its official recess from July 15, 2022 to September 15, 2022. During periods of Council recess, no official meetings of the Council are scheduled.

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